In Their Own Words
Czech Radio has one of the richest and most diverse audio archives in the world, going back to the very beginnings of radio in the 1920s. These recordings map a hundred years of Czech and Czechoslovak history through the voices of the people who shaped it. We hear not only their words, but also the tone of their voice, the mood and the atmosphere. We travel in time, as voices from the past speak to us with an immediacy that is powerful, moving and sometimes dramatic.
The archives include famous names, like Czechoslovakia’s first President, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his son, Jan Masaryk; we have the pioneering feminist Františka Plamínková and the inspirational politician Milada Horáková who was sentenced to death in the show trials of the 1950s; we have writers like Karel Čapek, inventor of the term “robot”, musicians like the great Czech jazzman Jaroslav Ježek, and we have sporting heroes, from Emil Zátopek to Martina Navrátilová. And then there are some of the people who came to Czechoslovakia from abroad, as visitors or exiles. They include Albert Einstein, Dwight Eisenhower and Josephine Baker, to name just a few.
This series of podcasts brings together some of the most vivid and evocative of these archive recordings. Through the alchemy of sound, we bring the past to life.